Supply chain challenges continue to batter industries across the spectrum – and while some things are improving, for many others there’s no end in sight. To better understand what’s happening with the supply chain squeeze – and what strategies companies can use to combat the challenges they’re facing, we invited Rutgers University Supply Chain Management Assistant Professor Dr. David Dreyfus to share his insights in an exclusive hour-long virtual event.

Supply chain then and now

Dr. Dreyfus began with a brief supply chain history lesson that began in the 1970s when many US companies began utilizing overseas suppliers to cut costs. This trend continued and led to the reduction or elimination of US-based suppliers that couldn’t compete with less-expensive foreign-based suppliers of similar products.

Fast forward to the current day. The US has largely returned to business as usual following a significant pandemic; however, the same cannot be said for other parts of the globe where restrictions designed to combat COVID-19 remain in effect – and continue to limit the production capacity of many overseas suppliers.

Dependence and demand

This dependence on offshore suppliers with limited capacity coupled with strong consumer demand in the US caused by government stimulus and an otherwise healthy overall economy have caused significant supply chain disruption.

Dreyfus noted that supply chain issues have been improving lately – and that with further government stimulus unlikely and absent any future escalation of COVID-19 variants, most supply chain issues could be rectified soon.

Protecting against future disruptions

Despite this, Dreyfus recommended companies take steps to protect themselves from future supply chain disruptions – because there will always be another disruption. Such steps begin with the process of identifying your suppliers and mapping out your supply chain. This map should then be used to identify vulnerabilities, develop an action plan to alleviate those vulnerabilities, and ultimately strengthen your supply chain and protect against disruption.

Relationships are key

Dr. Dreyfus encouraged building relationships, and collaborating, with suppliers within your supply chain.  And perhaps most importantly, he encourages the use of multiple suppliers of the same products to reduce dependence while also diversifying these suppliers from a geographic perspective. This will help to reduce the risk of disruption that may be isolated to certain areas of the world.

Learn more

If you’d like to know more, you can watch the event on-demand, or connect with a member of the Barnes Dennig team for a free consultation. You can call us at 513.241.8313, or drop us a line via our website. We’re here to help.